Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Agent of Man Utd summer target claims it was forward who declined Old Trafford move not Red Devils

Bologna forward Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic’s agent suggests the former Stoke and West Ham winger decided against pursuing a move to Manchester United during the summer transfer window.

Bologna forward Arnautovic was one of a number of targets for new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag as he looked to put his own stamp on the first-team squad at Old Trafford.

After a slow start to the window, United eventually brought in Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Martin Dubravka and Antony.

However, there several players who ended up being alternatives to the Dutchman’s top targets.

Casemiro was brought in after numerous failed attempts to get Frenkie de Jong on board. Antony, meanwhile, signed for £85million on deadline day after Arnautovic had emerged as a surprise Ten Hag target.

The 33-year-old spent four years in England, firstly with Stoke and then West Ham.

However, after a spell chasing the riches on offer in China, Arnautovic returned to Europe to sign for Bologna.

And it’s fair to say that the switch to Italy has worked out very well. Indeed, Arnautovic has already scored 20 goals in 41 Serie A games for the club.

However, it still came as a major shock when it emerged United were chasing the forward. The move actually left former interim boss Ralf Rangnick reportedly ‘shaking his head’.

Man Utd had a £7.6m offer rejected for Arnautovic, although they then declined making a second offer. It’s thought that seeing the backlash over the potential transfer was behind that decision.

Arnautovic made United transfer call

But now Arnautovic’s agent, Tiziano Pasquali, has now claimed that it was the player who ‘chose not to drag it out’.

Pasquali told transfer insider Gianluca di Marzio: “Yes, Juventus and Manchester United had come forward.

“From the English, we had received a written proposal. And the negotiations had continued even after some contrary opinions from their fans.

“But in the end, it was Marko who chose not to drag it out too long and to stay at Bologna. How can you think that he is now in a bad way?

“Arnautovic is happy here: city, fans, team, society. And coach. He only thinks of working in the best possible way.”

Pasquali also denied talk Arnautovic is having ‘problems’ with Bologna coach Thiago Motta.

“Problems? What are we talking about,” she continued. “Marko thinks about working, indeed he is annoyed by these rumors that we consider completely free.

“Maybe someone likes to embroider on nothing. But he is focused only on the goal: to help the team to recover from a difficult situation and arrive in the ranking position that he deserves.”

United are back in Premier League action on Sunday when they host Newcastle at Old Trafford.

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